Originally published at The Ettinger Report.
1. Nicola Mendolsohn, Facebook Vice President: “Facebook was amazed by the amount of talent in a small country like Israel [5,000 tech companies]. It was a momentous decision for Facebook to open its first R&D center outside the US in Israel. We chose Israel in the knowledge that the best talent is found here. Onavo, the Israeli company that we acquired [for $150MN] will help Facebook achieve its vision of linking the largest number of users possible (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 16, 2013).” The German global software giant, SAP invests $75MN in a new building for its Israel Center (Globes, Oct. 15).
2. Intel Capital, Intel’s investment arm, is expanding its portfolio of over-60-Israeli-companies, investing $10MN in three additional Israeli companies (Globes Business Daily, Oct. 24).
3. The Boston-based HarbourVest led a $35MN round of private placement by Israel’s Outbrain, joined by the Menlo Park-based Lightspeed Venture, Geneva-based Index Ventures and leading Israeli VC funds (Globes, Oct. 24).
4. Israel is a global leader in the development of water technologies. Export of water technologies was $2BN in 2012, 170% increase in six years, expected to reach $2.2BN in 2013. 280 Israeli companies develop water technologies, 150 are export-oriented (Globes, Oct. 22).
5. Wall Street Journal (Ben Rooney), Oct. 24: It is extremely hard not to be a bit star-struck by the Israeli technology scene…. ‘It is Silicon Valley for the rest of the world’ said Saul Klein, a London-based venture capitalist…. ‘On a scale of one to 10, the innovation I see in Germany would be close to zero. In Israel, it is a 10,’ said Mark Tluszcz, co-founder of Mangrove Capital Partners, a Luxembourg-based venture firm…. What’s the secret? Reasons include the role of the Israeli Defense Forces, and in particular the high-tech Unit 8200; the unique cultural values of a country forged from centuries of oppression; and Jewish mothers…. The link with America remains as strong as ever. If you look at the flight schedules into Tel Aviv, there are just three direct flights a week from Beijing, and another three from Seoul. There are at least that many a day from the U.S.”
About the Author: Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger is consultant to Israel’s Cabinet members and Israeli legislators, and lecturer in the U.S., Canada and Israel on Israel’s unique contributions to American interests, the foundations of U.S.-Israel relations, the Iranian threat, and Jewish-Arab issues.
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